Crime in Oak Cliff: Perception based on size

Asha Gwin’s post last week on crime in Oak Cliff, as compared to other parts of Dallas, reminded me a couple of things recently mentioned to me by Councilman Elba Garcia — that in Dallas, four of the 14 councilmen represent portions of what is know as "Oak Cliff". Plus, when it comes to crime, even though a reporter says, "a shooting in Oak Cliff," if you live in Winnetka Heights, for example, the distance between you and the shooting may be a similar distance between you and Lakewood or you and Preston Hollow — even though the area where the shooting took place has the same moniker as the neighborhood in which you live.

So it’s no wonder that Dallasites associate Oak Cliff with crime, when such a broad area is defined as "Oak Cliff". And as Garcia points out, when crime takes place in Far North Dallas, for example, it’s less likely to be defined as "a shooting in Far North Dallas" and more likely to be "a shooting at Coit and Spring Valley". This lack of neighborhood or area identification in other parts of the city also exaggerates the perception of crime.

By |2009-06-22T12:01:00-05:00June 22nd, 2009|Crime, News|1 Comment

About the Author:

Keri Mitchell is an Advocate editor and reporter. Email her at kmitchell@advocatemag.com or follow twitter.com/thequotablelife.                                                                                         

One Comment

  1. rubbercow June 22, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Kerri –

    This argument goes on and on…. We have lived here for only two years and have seen/heard the argument over and over again. The point you make (and that Asha made) is certainly valid, but the answer to the implied question is a bit tricky. It is true that if anytime a crime takes place south of the river the media report it as having taken place in Oak Cliff – even if it took place south of I-20 or further. The area that is reported as Oak Cliff is HUGE and, of course, it would follow that by the current method of reporting the crime rates for this gigantic area would exceed crime rates for neighborhoods that are very small.

    How do you get a more accurate description of the neighborhoods within “Oak Cliff” where crimes happen? I don’t know….. Just my two cents…..

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